After four years of service, Provost Madonne Miner is stepping down from her position. With this announcement, a national search for a new provost started and has brought four candidates to campus to speak about their ideas for the WSU’s success.
Two of these four candidates spoke at Lindquist Hall the week of Sept. 16.
The Provost is the chief academic officer of a university, who collaborates with the President in academic affairs and budgets. They create and implement academic priorities for the institution and allocate the funds necessary for its goals. The Deans of the schools and colleges at the university report to the Provost.
Wanda Costen was the first candidate to speak, giving her address on Sept. 18. Costen is coming from MacEwan University, in Edmonton, Alberta, where she is the Dean of their School of Business.
Costen described herself as an “army brat” due to her upbringing in a military family and attributed her openness to other cultures and ways of doing things to her growing up around the world. She also described herself as an “off-the-chart extrovert” who was all about getting things done.
“I’m always wondering what we’re doing, how long it’s going to take, and let’s get there,” Costen said.
Costen emphasized the importance of honesty, integrity and giving back. She believes in choosing the harder right over the easier wrong and ensuring hard work, accountability and equality.
An audience member, who wished to remain anonymous, complemented Costen’s efficient military style and get-things-done attitude, saying that Costen would make a great Provost.
Costen shared her personal mission statement, which reads, “To combine love and enthusiasm with passion, honesty and integrity to positively impact human development.”
Finally, Costen talked about her plan for student recruitment, retention and success: helping the faculty grow and become more enthusiastic about teaching, and providing them with the tools and training needed and allowing students positive experiences, life-long learning, growth and career success in any field they choose. She also expressed that a lot of success will come from collaboration campus-wide.
“I will do anything for the students,” Costen said.
Candidate David Ferro gave his address Sept. 20. Ferro has been the Dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology at WSU since 2011. Entering the room, he was among many friends and colleagues who came to support him.
Ferro has done a lot for the University. He knows the events on campus and the students, and through experience, he knows what already works at WSU.
Pat Shaw, Chair of the Department of Health Administrative services at WSU, said Ferro was very collaborative, and a good Dean.
“He certainly knows Weber. He knows us,” Shaw said.
Ferro emphasized the importance of collaborative work across campus and group thinking.
“There’s nothing that happens without ‘we,’” Ferro said.
Ferro presented numerous statistics and studies for focusing on what needs help at WSU and what possible and affordable options are available. He also presented ideas that other colleges and universities have tried and proven that could be tried at WSU as well.
Finally, Ferro talked about the need to accommodate for all students and provide them with the education and experience, especially internships, that employers look for — no matter what career path they take. He also discussed the need to enable the faculty with the resources they need to be successful and therefore enable their students.
Justin Owen, University Energy Manager, said that though he has already worked with Ferro before, it was interesting to see his bigger vision for the University.
The final two Provost candidates, Ravi Krovi and Kelly Ryan, will make their address during the week of Sept. 23.
Biographies and recordings of the candidates’ speeches are available at www.weber.edu/provostsearch/candidates.html. There is an available link there for submitting comments about the candidates.